The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised there are respirators that are falsely being marketed and sold as NIOSH-approved.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has advised that there are counterfeit respirators and/or misrepresentations of NIOSH approval on some respirators that you should be aware of before purchasing or using them.


NIOSH lists these as indicators that a respirator may be counterfeit:

  • No markings at all on the filtering facepiece respirator
  • No approval (TC) number on filtering facepiece respirator or headband
  • No NIOSH markings
  • NIOSH spelled incorrectly
  • Presence of decorative fabric or other decorative add-ons (e.g., sequins)
  • Claims for approval for children (NIOSH does not approve any type of respiratory protection for children)
  • Filtering facepiece respirator has ear loops instead of headbands

NIOSH will post updates to their website to alert users, purchasers, and manufacturers of newly determined counterfeit respirators sold as NIOSH-approved. For additional information and a list of known counterfeit respirators, go to:

You can verify the approval number on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List (CEL) or the NIOSH Trusted-Source page to determine if the respirator has been approved by NIOSH.

Nationwide Loss Control Services has a number of resources designed to help reduce your risk during the COVID-19 pandemic at, including the following articles:

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